Yoon Joung Lee
There are some female Pakistani journalists who catch public attention as these women headed media/publications in Pakistan. Sherry Rehman is one of these examples. Sherry was the editor-in-chief of Pakistan’s leading news magazine, The Herald, for ten years and was a member of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) for a year before she plunged into a political career. From 2002 to 2007, she served as an Member of the National Assembly as Central Information Secretary. In 2008, she was re-appointed as a Member of the National Assembly, and Prime Minister Ysuf Gilani appointed her Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Maleeha Lodhi is also a well known face in Pakistani media and politics. She worked as an editor for the English language newspaper, The Muslim and later edited, The News International. These works gave her the title: the first female in Asia to edit national daily newspaper. From 1994 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2002, she served as the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States. From 2001, she served on the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs. From 2003 to 2008, she was appointed to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Another prominent Pakistani journalist was Razia Bhatti. Razia was an editor for The Herald which consistently represented voice for democracy, Government corruptions, social improvement and the freedom of press even during the chaos of Karachi and the political turmoil of Pakistan. In 1989, she resigned as a editor of The Herald, and she founded an independent staff-owned magazine, Newsline which became Pakistan’s most influential political monthly.
It is true that the presence of women in the Pakistani media has grown. It could be a social trend of promoting media as a career for women in Pakistan. It could be the proliferation of television channels in Pakistan. However, there is still invisible and visible gender discrimination existing such as discriminatory salaries, working conditions or sexual harassment in the work place. Therefore, not all women who studied journalism will enter into press.
Some of prominent female journalists introduced above are survivors from battlefields because the way they have come through was not an easy process. These women can be a great role model for the women out there who want to be like them. These women also bring attention to society about women’s issues that have been neglected in Pakistan society for a long time. More women in newsroom and politics means better projection projection of women related issues.